Consultation by Helicopter: People’s Participation in Policy Making in Malawi

After assessing the political climate influencing the 2001-2002 Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), this paper outlines the evolving nature of the relationship between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Malawian government. Despite considerable civic consultation during the government-initiated plan, Vision 2020, the PRSP process has been characterized by a limited timeframe and weak involvement by CSOs. The paper recommends steps for institutionalizing participation and transforming PRSP participation into participatory budget processes.

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